Collagen. It is one of those things that you don’t pay attention to until the signs of aging are apparent.
Collagen is a structural protein that is the main component of connective tissue. And being that collagen is about 25%-35% of the entire body’s protein content, that makes it the most abundant protein in mammals.
And it is most known for being found in body parts like the skin, ligaments, and tendons.
Because men and women produce less collagen as we age, the symptoms become obvious when we look in the mirror. While wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin are the most significant signs of collagen breakdown, it may also have an impact on hair loss.
How To Increase Collagen Production Naturally
So, is there something we can do reduce wrinkles naturally?
Of course there is.
Many dietary and lifestyle choices can impact the amount of collagen you produce. In this article, we have identified 17 of the best natural home remedies that will help your skin care and will have you looking younger and more vibrant. The best thing is that you can start using these tips today.
1. Up Your Consumption of Vitamin C
Vitamin C has been proven to prevent wrinkles in two primary ways.
First off, it has an essential role in collagen synthesis. This means that by consuming more C, your body will be able to produce more of it and repair damaged and aging skin.
Secondly, it is crucial in its role as a photoprotector. Exposure to sunlight causes skin damage and facial wrinkles by breaking down collagen. Vitamin C can protect you from those harmful UV rays from the sun.
There are many ways to increase your levels. By having food that is high in it such as kale, broccoli, and citrus fruits you can improve your dietary levels of this critical nutrient. Also, researchers have proven there are positive results on skin health by applying it topically as well. This includes things like face creams.(1)
2. Consume More Sulfur
An article in the Journal of Nutrition mentioned a study in which rats were fed varying sulfur levels. In the group of rats with lower sulfur amounts, they observed less collagen production. This seemed to be because sulfur helps to create intramolecular cross-linkages.(2)
Because of depleted soils and the standard American diet, many of us are deficient in sulfur. We can increase our overall sulfur amount by having sulfur-rich foods such as organic garlic, onions, and shallots. Also, supplementing with MSM has shown to have positive results on wrinkles. If you have never heard of MSM before, head over to naturemadecures.com/msm-the-fountain-of-youth/ to read all about it.
Eggs are a food that is packed with collagen. Not only is the egg itself great, but so is the eggshell membrane.
One particular study showed that the use of a water-soluble egg membrane containing facial cream was able to significantly lessen facial wrinkles over an eight-week trial.
Not only was the wrinkle depth decreased, but the skin was visibly smoother and had better contour.(3)
Regular exercise stimulates collagen production and can even get rid of wrinkles naturally. Researchers at McMaster University were able to show that people over the age of 65 were able to lower wrinkle visibility.
By starting an exercise program that included 30 minutes of jogging twice a week, they were able to reverse their skin markers to that of 20 to 40-year-olds after only 3 months. One researcher called it “remarkable”.(4)
5. Eat Foods High in Zinc
This is another mineral that has an essential role in the synthesis of collagen. It has also been found that a “deficiency affects both the biosynthesis and degradation of all type of collagen.”(5)
So by supplementing with or by eating things with zinc, you can be assured that your body can adequately produce enough collagen. Some items that have large amounts include pumpkin seeds, salmon, kidney beans, and walnuts.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Medical research has found that getting the right amount of sleep helps to restore immune system function.
Scientists believe that changes in the immune system response have an impact on collagen production. There have even been studies that show a lack of sleep leads to a decline in skin health.(6)
So, if you are looking for more healthy looking skin and get rid of wrinkles naturally, make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
If you are having trouble sleeping, click here to read our article on how to sleep better.
7. Make Sure You are Getting Enough Omega-3s
We previously went over how the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids is a major factor in reducing inflammation. Experiments have found that this ratio also has an effect on collagen production. Scientists observed that by increasing Omega-3 to get a 1:1 ratio stimulated collagen production.(7) Vegan Omega-3 supplements are some of the healthiest and sustainable ways to increase your levels.
Check out the full article on Omega-3s to learn some ways to increase your intake of these oils.
8. Hot and Cold Therapy
Temperature therapies are getting more and more popular for to their health effects. Saunas, ice baths, cryotherapy, and banya spas are some examples. Extreme heat and cool, as well as both used together, can have positive results on skin quality and wrinkles.
These options not only serve to increase blood circulation but also energy and help the immune system function.
9. Consume Large Amounts of Chlorophyll
Researchers have found that chlorophyll can stimulate collagen production and lessen the appearance of wrinkles in the skin naturally. One study in females over the age of 45 showed an increase in skin elasticity and a decrease in facial wrinkles after 90 days of supplementing with chlorophyll extract. (8)
This seems to work due to the anti-oxidant effects of the chlorophyll. Some things that are high in chlorophyll that you should consider eating include chlorella and leafy greens such as spinach.
10. Reduce The Amount of Sugar
Sugar has an enormous impact on the quality of your skin. One study even went as far as to say that the amount of sugar in your blood has a direct correlation with the age you appear to be.
Sugar creates a process called glycation. By attaching to the protein in your body, this process creates what is called “advanced glycation end products”. These stop the ability to repair broken collagen fibers which caused a breakdown of the skin and increase fine lines and wrinkles.(9)
Diets that are high in sugar will almost certainly cause aged and wrinkled skin. So, cutting out the excess sugar from things like soda and candy in your diet is a great place to start reducing wrinkles and have healthy skin.
11. Quit Smoking
For years, everyone has known that smoking cigarettes are harmful to your health in many ways. But did you know that it stops collagen production and makes your face look older?
A particular study comparing smokers and non-smokers found that synthesis rates of collagen were 18% to 22% lower in smokers compared to non-smokers.(10) So, an easy way to boost production by 20% is to stop smoking. This will lead to healthier and firmer skin with less facial wrinkles.
12. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another nutrient that has a large role in good skin. First, it works in conjunction with vitamin c to produce collagen. Also, “the intake of natural vitamin E products helps against collagen cross linking and lipid peroxidation, which are both linked to aging of the skin.”(11)
To get the most benefits of it, you can either consume items that contain E, use a topical cream or oil, or start a supplementation regimen.
13. Reduce UV Radiation
Like sugar, lowering your sun exposure will be another addition by subtraction. Ultraviolet rays and solar exposure are linked to a decline in collagen in the skin. Sun damaged skin contains 20% less collagen then skin that wasn’t exposed to the sun.(11)
Therefore, by lessening your UV, you will increase your net overall collagen amount within your skin. This will lead to an overall healthier skin appearance with fewer wrinkles and skin damage.
Also, be careful with tanning oil and sunscreen as they may contain carcinogens. Try to find a quality sunscreen with good ingredients.
14. Get More Massages
Do you love getting facials?
Well, not only do massages feel amazing and are relaxing, studies show they help boost collagen production too! By increasing blood flow to the skin and stimulating the lymph glands, daily skin massages can help prevent wrinkles and make skin healthier.
Try applying moderate pressure and using circular movements to your face around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead every day for a more youthful appearance. And if you haven’t already tried them, add facials and massages to your beauty regimen.
15. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is another natural plant that boosts collagen production and helps to reduce facial wrinkles.
One study showed that by daily consumption of aloe vera gel for 90 days helped to reduce facial wrinkles and improved skin elasticity. Scientists were unsure exactly how they work, but they also noted that aloe is also great for wound healing. (12)
Things that dehydrate you like caffeine and alcohol are bad for the skin and create wrinkles.(13) The body needs to stay hydrated to function properly. By drinking plenty high-quality water, cells can transport nutrients and remove toxins. This is not only important to collagen production, but to every system in the body.
The best way to keep your skin healthy and increase beauty is to try to limit alcoholic beverages, have less coffee, and drink some more old fashioned water.
17. Get More Omega-7 in Your Diet
A study found that Omega-7 fatty acids helped to activate Silent Information Regulator 1 (SIRT1). This regulator helped to promote collagen synthesis. (14)
Therefore, adding Omega-7 fatty acids to your diet can help regenerate collagen and could lead to healthier looking skin.
Whether you are already noticing the signs of aging or just want to be proactive, these 17 natural ways will help to boost your collagen production. By taking your health seriously, you will not only feel better, but you can also look younger and have healthier looking skin with fewer wrinkles.
Many of these studies were able to show that it is not too late. Although there are no instant fixes, by making changes over time these natural ways do work. So use these tips to start a skin care regimen and begin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles today!
(14) Song, IB., Gu, H., Han, HJ. et al. Appl Biol Chem (2018) 61: 433. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13765-018-0377-1